Trisha posted about Meg Wolitzer's March release The Uncoupling back in September (look for a What We're Reading preview in the coming weeks), and now we have more news from this acclaimed novelist. From a press release from Penguin Young Readers Group:
Meg Wolitzer . . . will publish a children’s novel entitled The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman with Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. The novel, scheduled for publication in September 2011, tells the story of three unique seventh-graders whose lives intersect at a national Scrabble tournament, where each has a very different reason for attending and for needing to win.
I consider myself something of a Scrabble addict (if a mediocre player), so I can't wait for this one. Stefan Fatsis's Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble is one of my favorite nonfiction books, and even though I don't play bridge, I got a kick out of Louis Sachar's fictional story of kids at a national bridge tournament. Sounds like The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman will combine the best of both.
Also in BookPage: Read an interview with the author about The Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer's 2008 novel about a group of women who leave their careers to be full-time moms.
Ree Drummond—aka The Pioneer Woman—posted the jacket to her real-life love story on her website this morning.
Called The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels—A Love Story, the book chronicles PW's choice to give up city life for ranch life and marry Marlboro Man (her nickname for her Wrangler-wearing husband).
The Pioneer Woman comes out on February 1—just in time for Valentine's Day. Though I'm usually not one for V-Day-themed reading, in 2011 I can already tell ya that I'll be making dates with PW's memoir and David Levithan's novel The Lover's Dictionary. Romance will be in the air!
Get more info about The Pioneer Woman and Drummond's in-the-works book tour on her blog. Will you be reading this love story?
Also on The Book Case: Read our Q&A with Drummond on the occasion of her cookbook tour stop in Nashville.
Fans of "CSI" or forensic-centric crime novels might not realize that the person who started the craze for forensic fiction is still one of today's most popular authors: Patricia Cornwell, the creator of medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.
BookPage contributor Jay MacDonald interviewed Cornwell about her new Scarpetta novel, Port Mortuary, for our December issue. Their conversation provides a fascinating glimpse at the growth of the genre, how Cornwell does her research and how her novels have evolved.
You can get more info on the plot of the new book—and find out what "port mortuary" means—in today's featured trailer:
Port Mortuary comes out today. Who's reading it? What's your favorite Scarpetta novel?
Also in BookPage: Browse reviews of Cornwell's books.
[gallery link="file" columns="2"]
a Somali expatriate returns to discover that his homeland, which he'd last seen through the crossfire of battling warlords, is now in the grip of pirates, white-robed religious extremists bearing whips, and child-soldiers doing their bidding as an Ethiopian invasion looms
Many regard Farah as the best African novelist writing today. Will you look for Crossbones?
We're still counting the top books of 2010—we'll be unveiling the Top 10 list in the December 7 edition of BookPageXTRA. This portion of the list contains two of my personal favorites for the year, Lionel Shriver's So Much for That and Paul Murray's Skippy Dies. Though they're two very different novels, they're both still fresh in my mind months after turning the final pages. What are your favorite books of 2010?
16. Faithful Place by Tana French (Viking, July 2010)
17. Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton (Other Press, November 2010)
18. The Privileges by Jonathan Dee (Random House, January 2010)
19. So Much for That by Lionel Shriver (Harper, March 2010)
20. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (Faber & Faber, September 2010)
Today the Book Case welcomes author C.J. Lyons, whose Angels of Mercy series (Jove) has added a jolt to the genre of medical suspense. The conclusion to the four-book series, Critical Condition, hits stores December 7, 2010, and Lyons stopped by to tell us a little bit about the difficulty of letting go of characters she—and her readers—had come to love.
When I sat down to start writing the final book in my Angels of Mercy medical suspense series, I had a play list running through my mind, filled with sad songs of goodbye, everything from Motown to Staind. After all, I'd spent three years with these four ladies. I'd watched them grow, fall in and out of love, save patients, dodge bullets, make mistakes, and fight for their lives. And now it was time to say goodbye.
When I began the first in the series, Lifelines, I had no idea how the book would end, much less the entire series. By book #2, Warning Signs, I had an idea, but it turned out to be wrong. Then I wrote book #3, Urgent Care, and it had an ending that surprised even me, one that totally changed how the series would conclude.
I began writing Critical Condition knowing only who would be left standing in the end. But I had no idea how they all would get there—and the main character, Gina, had a heck of a lot of growing up to do to earn her bittersweet happy ending. The only other thing I knew was that Critical Condition was, just like Gina's life, going to be an adrenalin-rushed hyper-driven thrill ride. Think Die Hard in a hospital.
So I wrote the book backwards. Literally. Wrote a scene, knew who was still alive in the scene, and figured out how they got there in order to write the next scene (which was really the previous scene, if that makes sense). The book ended up being so tightly paced that it reads in "real time" with the entire action taking place in five hours.
It didn't make it any easier to say goodbye to the women of Angels of Mercy Medical Center, but starting with their "happily-ever-afters" as I wrote Critical Condition, helped.
From the amount of fan mail I receive, I'm sure these women will continue to live on in the hearts of my readers for a long time to come. Who knows? Maybe they'll return someday to save their world again.
If so, I'll be ready and waiting, humming some Motown to welcome them home. Because, as a writer, you never really say goodbye to your characters, they become a part of you.
Thanks, CJ! We can't wait to see what you come up with in the new series you'll be writing with Erin Brockovich. To learn more about CJ and her work, visit her website.
I figure that there are two kinds of people when it comes to computers and vacation: Either you love the extra leisure time to catch up on back-logged RSS feeds (I know my Google Reader is out of control) . . . or you avoid the computer like the plague. Which are you? Have you read any good blog posts this week?
Although I have been enjoying my extra reading time, I have had a chance to read book blogs over the past few days. My favorite posts:
Stop the clocks: how Twain celebrated Thanksgiving
Posted by Maud Newton
You have to read this post—if only for the hilarious cartoon depicting how Mark Twain celebrated Thanksgiving. (Luckily, Twain spent the holiday with Thomas Nast, so the author's antics could be documented.)
Christmas Mysteries for 2010
Posted by My Friend Amy
I've already posted about seasonal fiction once today, but for those who really want to get into the spirit, here's a great roundup on My Friend Amy. Read about six new Christmas mysteries. Do you have any to add to this list?
Laurent de Brunhoff talks about the making of Babar USA
Posted on Mishaps and Adventures
Trisha sent me this link with the note . . . "I heart Babar." Is there really anything else that needs to be said? In this charming video, Laurent de Brunhoff (the son of Jean de Brunhoff, the creator of Babar) talks about the creative process of making Babar.
Happy Black Friday! That can only mean one thing . . . love it or dread it, the holiday season is officially upon us.
If you celebrate Christmas and enjoy seasonal reading, then you are no doubt familiar with Donna VanLiere, well known for her Christmas-themed books—several of which have been adapted into TV movies.
For BookPage's December issue, VanLiere answered questions about her newest novel, The Christmas Journey, a retelling of the story of Joseph and Mary:
If you've ever wondered how VanLiere came to focus on Christmas books, read an essay she wrote for BookPage called "Author finds Christmas in July." Also, find more BookPage picks for Christmas fiction on our website.
Do you have a favorite author who specializes in seasonal fiction?
Four months remain before Jodi Picoult's 2011 release, Sing You Home, hits stores in March—complete with a CD of custom-written tunes inspired by the main character's career as a musical therapist—but she's already sharing news about her 2012 novel.
The book, as yet untitled, is "about wolves…but it’s also about the right to die, and what happens when two siblings have very different ideas about whether or not to keep their dad alive after he suffers a traumatic brain injury," says Picoult in her latest e-newsletter. The author spent the summer doing research on wolves in England, which included "learning how to howl and doing it so convincingly that five wolf packs in the near distance start howling back at you!"
Are you looking forward to Sing You Home? Intrigued by the topic of Picoult's next work?
Today’s guest post, in honor of Black Friday, is from Roxanne Coady of R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut. For more than 20 years, the book store has offered personalized in-store service. Now it's available online via Just the Right Book!, a program which will send books to the person of your choice based on their personal tastes and interests at regular intervals—call it a tailor-made “book of the month” club. Roxanne stopped by the blog to give readers a few ideas for difficult-to-buy-for folks.
I always hear from people that they’d love to give a book as a gift to lots of people on their list. It’s more fun, it’s more thoughtful and it’s more lasting. That’s the easy part. What’s the tough part? Figuring out which book to give.
We’re already on the fast track for holiday shopping, so it seemed like a good time to help you find books for people on your list. These ideas might help get you started:
For the New Yorker-loving, learn-for-the-sake-of-learning types, who have probably read most of the Classics:
Happy reading! For more ideas check out Just the Right Book!, your holiday helper.